The EU has hinted that Brexit should be cancelled after Theresa May’s deal was voted down by the biggest margin for more than 100 years.
EU Council President Donald Tusk suggested if MPs cannot agree a deal and do not want to crash out of the EU without an agreement they should consider reversing the historic vote.
While EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned the UK that ‘time is almost up’ as he announced that no deal planning will be ramped up.
He made a dash back to Brussels for emergency Brexit meetings as Mrs may’s deal was voted down by 432 votes to 202 – meaning 230 MPs voted against her.
Mr Tusk said: ‘If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?’
Mr Juncker said: ‘The risk of a disorderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom has increased with this evening’s vote. While we do not want this to happen, the European Commission will continue its contingency work to help ensure the EU is fully prepared.
‘I urge the United Kingdom to clarify its intentions as soon as possible. Time is almost up.’
Jean-Claude Juncker (pictured in Strasbourg today) is making a dash back to Brussels for emergency Brexit meetings amid expectations Theresa May will suffer a devastating defeat tonight
EU Council President Donald Tusk called for ‘courage’ from British politicians in coming up with a Brexit plan
Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas (pictured in Berlin last week) said Brexit talks will start back up if the Withdrawal Agreement is voted down
The PM’s official spokesman said there are ‘no plans’ for her to meet with Mr Juncker tomorrow.
But she is under huge pressure from all sides to head back to the negotiating table in Brussels to tear up the hated Irish backstop.
MEPs in the European Parliament will debate the state of the Brexit deal tomorrow morning.
It comes as Germany promised to launch a fresh round of
EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici today said: ‘President Juncker would have liked to have attended the debate but there are circumstance you’re aware of, like a vote in another country.
‘President Juncker needs to be in Brussels. It’s just to do with the duties of the president because of this specific emergency’
Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas today said talks will start back up if the Withdrawal Agreement is voted down.
But in a blow to No10 he downplayed hopes of a major overhaul to the deal – saying he does not think ‘substantial’ changes will be to the deal.
He said: ‘If there were still a solution that could be presented under even greater pressure, I would ask myself why it has not been put on the table before in order to ensure that this evening’s vote takes place under better circumstances.
‘That is why I believe that the agreement is as it stands and will not be substantially changed, but that, if things go wrong tonight, there will certainly be talks again.’
Timeline to Theresa’s Commons defeat
6.45pm: Theresa May will sum up the debate and make a final appeal to MPs to back the deal.
7pm: Voting will begin. First, MPs will vote on the amendments to the motion.
Four have been selected by the Speaker.
If any pass, the final vote on the deal is with the amendment attached.
Each vote will take around 15-20 minutes, meaning the result should be in by around 8.30pm.
8.30pm: After the votes, Mrs May will make a statement setting out her response and the next steps the government will take.
His intervention comes as Mrs May’s Brexit deal was rejected by MPs tonight.
The PM had issued a desperate last-ditch plea in the Commons for MPs to rally round and back her deal to help unite the bitterly divided country.
She said: ‘Parliament gave the people a choice. We set the clock ticking on our departure and tonight we will determine whether we move forward with a Withdrawal Agreement which honours the vote and sets us on course for a better future.
‘The responsibility of each and every one of us at this moment is profound for this is a historic decision that will set the future of this country for generations.’
And she poured scorn on demands that she tear up the hated backstop.
She said: ‘Whatever future relationship is going to be negotiated or anybody wants to see negotiated, that insurance policy is essential.
‘Any of the other proposals – Canada, Norway, any number of variations of those models – all of them require the insurance policy and that is the so-called backstop.
‘No backstop simply means no deal now and for the foreseeable future.
‘And I don’t want to see anybody being able to exploit no deal and bringing doubt about the future of our union as a result of that.’
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is preparing to twist the knife tonight by calling a formal vote of no confidence in the Government, which could be held as early as tomorrow. If passed it would pave the way for a general election.
Amid increasingly frantic efforts by ministers to turn the tide, Environment Secretary Michael Gove invoked Game of Thrones to warn MPs against voting down her deal
‘If we don’t vote for it tonight, in the words of Jon Snow: ‘Winter is coming’,’ he said.
Mrs May has three days to set out her ‘Plan B’, and is preparing to fly to Brussels almost immediately for more talks.
Theresa May managed a faint smile as she emerged from Downing Street today ahead of the crucial Brexit deal vote
How the Commons will vote: Theresa May’s deal is expected to lose heavily on Tuesday night, which could lead to a no-confidence motion and potentially a general election